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Old 02-14-2014, 07:08 AM   #2866
nomad guy
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Location: Stranded in Berkeley, CA
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Noah, your post brings back fond memories of Vietnam an SEA.
For about a year i used to commute every day through the HCMC traffic
on a brand new xr250 supermoto. it's like a video game, once you get the habit of it.
There is only one rule to follow while riding in SEA- Don't hit what ever infront of you.
That goes to vehicles, water buffaloes, pedestrians, snakes lizard and what's not.
Food wise, Vietnam is such a nice surprise with all the French influence infused into the Asian cooking. Nothing can bit the street food of SEA.

I agree with you regarding the sex industry in SEA. I spent over 3.5 years around that neighborhood. I never set foot in what you call a "strip club".
You need to set your rules and values right and clear. I did not want a single dollar of mine to get to this industry.
If people think that watching 14 year old shoot ping pong balls out of her...
they should imagine their mom/sister/daughter and decide whether it's still funny.

04 KTM ADV 950S GO!!!!!
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:27 AM   #2867
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Phew, just got caught up. Looking good, Noah The "more proof" posts cracked me up and scared the shit out of me all at the same time. thanks for the BOGO

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Old 02-14-2014, 02:15 PM   #2868
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Noah, you're a good dude. Thanks as always for a badass report!
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:02 AM   #2869
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Liked your video! People really just do as they please on the road. Thanks for the update and stay safe!

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Old 02-16-2014, 02:39 AM   #2870
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Hi buddy;

Just caught up with the 'nam write ups. Mental :) that's all I can say.

We made it to Pai, northern Thailand, roads are very very very twistylicious and awesome. We'll be heading south to find an island to see out our visa days.

Catch you in Malay or Indo. Keep in touch.

Also if you go to Koh Kong in Cambodia, there's a place called Fat Sam's.. they do schnitzel and mash potato... also the BBQ lady near Sam's is pretty awesome.

Have fun
Oli & Charli
Currently on the road! Suck it work :) [UK-OZ 2-up]
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:52 AM   #2871
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Hsinchu City, Taiwan
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Hi Noah,

just let me know if your plans include Taiwan.....
Fantastic adventure, love your pictures...

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:04 PM   #2872
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I tried to entice him to go when I was in Taipei all last fall.
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RIP ITsteve, ride in peace my friend
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:34 PM   #2873
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:48 AM   #2874
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Joined: May 2010
Location: In the mountains?
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Escaping Vietnam

Jan 21 Ho Chi Minh City to Chơ Ma Đa Gui with Farron 148 km
We had a good continental breakfast at the hotel. This was one of the first days I woke up early enough to get the breakfast. We only took a few wrong turns on the way out of town but soon we were riding on #20. This is a much better road than the Ho Chi Mihn Highway. There is still crazy traffic near Saigon but it tapers off quickly. We met 2 guys and a girl who bought scooters. They were planning on riding to Hanoi over the next few weeks. They all had shorts and flipflops on. I tried to explain to them that its not if they will crash, it is when. I tried to explain that my friend and I had been riding for a long time and we had accidents from the traffic. Even though the girl had never ridden before, she still wanted to argue, "I won't crash". Ok. You win. Have fun. Soon after we got waved over by the cops. This was the first time I had been pulled over in VN. Ferran and I only speak Spanish to the cops to start out with. This seems to be frustrating them very nicely. Ferran shows them his Spanish passport and they take it over to show the other cops. That's when I noticed my key was missing. The sneaky bastard who was trying to get me to show him documents took it from my bike. I walked up to him and tried to take it from his clenched fist. He wouldn't let me but I said give me my fucking key back. The other guy said something in VN and the bastard gave me the key back. The other guy tried to say we were speeding and we said we weren't. At this time they had 2 angry bearded white dudes looking down at them. They knew we were not going to be a pushover. We got Ferran's passport back and left in a hurry, not wanting to overstay our welcome.
In the evening Ferron's bike started running like crap. We had not gone as far as we would like but his bike would not run enough to keep going. Earlier I had put a "new" spark plug in his bike that was a spare. I knew it was a cheap knockoff of a NGK but I figured it would be better then the old one that he had. It didn't occur to us that this was the problem. We got a hotel room and I went to work cleaning the carb. His pilot jet was completely clogged which accounted for the shit idle. The bowl and filters had mud in them. I'm not sure how this bike ran the way it was. There were 4 or 5 VN guys watching me clean the carb. Ferran and I were joking that these guys are hoping the bike does not run when I put it back together. When I got it back together, it was running better, but still lacking.

Looked like dammage from bullets. But I'm not sure...could be my imagination.

These guys loved us.

The start of a great sandwich.

Getting my oil changed.

Little guys are everywhere. This is good because they eat mosquitos.

Jan 22 Chơ Ma Đa Gui to Mui Ne 261 km
Over the first little mountain pass, Ferron's bike was getting worse and worse to the point where it died on the down hill. We coasted into a gas station and filled it up. It had gas, now it must be spark. There was spark from the wire when we checked. With the help of some VN guys, I bump-started the bike and started riding. Now it felt like it was a spark problem. A few km further I pulled into a shop. I pointed at the spark plug and told him to change it. He looked at me like "how do you know it is spark plug?". I insisted and we put a new spark plug in. The bike roared to life. It felt like it was a new bike again. The next time we stopped I could see Ferron was smiling and the worried look had gone. Soon I would go to the coast and he would continue north by himself. He had talked about selling the bike again and taking the train or a bus. I told him he will thank me later for making him keep the bike and ride solo to the north. We were about 20 km from Du Lak when I turned south over some nice twisty roads to the coast. I saw where something had hit a scooter. There was the outline of the body and the tarmac was still stained from blood. Once again reaffirming the safety of riding a scooter in VN. This part of VN has some large sand dunes and they looked like they would be great to ride. That is if you can get a big bike in. The scooter didn't really like the sand. I stayed the night at a place that teaches wind surfing and kite boarding.

Very common to see trucks from US that were not even painted when they got to VN.

Pillbox protecting a bridge. There was one on the other side also.

Along the coast.

Development everywhere.

Local fishing boats

You can see some of the traditional round "coracle" boats in this photo.

Jan 23 Stayed in Mui Ne
I was planning on leaving but this place was pretty chill. There was a decent beach, good seafood and some good people from all over the world that were there to use the nice wind a warm water. We ate some good seafood again that night and drank some rum that was made locally. It wan't very good but the sunset was nice again.

Jan 24 Mui Ne to Ho Chi Minh City 240 km
It was a long ride to Saigon. At first I was making good time but shortly after lunch I had a flat front tire. 1/2 hour and $2 later a local scooter shop had me back on the road. As I was getting close to Saigon the rear went flat. This time it wasn't as easy as a patch. The tire was completely shot. $25 gets you a new rear tire and tube. I was back on the way. The bike was running like crap and I got a whatever hotel I could find. I am all to happy to eat the amazing street food. $2 or $3 will get you bbq pork and cracked rice or bbq chicken and fried noodles.

Hugging the coast.

You would think carrying glass would make you ride more carefull.

Every city was getting ready for Tet.

Jan 25 Ho Chi Minh City to Takeo Cambodia. 360 km
I had to get out of Vietnam before Tet festival. It was only a few days away but I could feel the pressure mounting. Police were trying very hard to get whatever bribes they could. They wanted some money to celebrate Tet. The roads were about to get even more crazy with every bus in the country running to get people to their villages they were born in. On the way out of town I went past a few police by pretending I didn't see them. In a crowd of scooters this works but if you are riding along solo, they will block your path. So I pull over. This time I took my keys, GPS, and helmet with me. I didn't want anything on the bike that could be easily grabbed by a sketchy cop to hold as ransom for money. The police said I was riding in the left lane. "Only this lane close here is for scooter" I laughed at him and asked what happens when a car or truck is parked in the scooter lane or driving at 5 km/h. Just then about 200 scooters from the last stop light come whizzing by. About half split from in the left lane and half in the right. I said there was no problem and went back to the bike. They didn't have any of my stuff so there was really nothing they could try to do to make me stay to pay a bribe. I kept telling them "What is problem? This is no problem. I am going now". They said Ok. Go and I took off. I would get pulled over 2 more times that day. The next 2 times I didn't even have to talk to them. When I took off my helmet, beard covered in sweat, dust and anger, they waved me on. Just before the border, a lady asked me where I was going and I told her Cambodia. She said "I work at border, you won't be able to bring scooter into Cambodia". She was just telling me a line because she wanted to buy my scooter cheap. I said I would take my chances and I went to the Tinh Bien border crossing. They didn't even ask to see paperwork leaving Vietnam or entering Cambodia. I stamped my passport and went through. No questions asked. If only it was this easy with a big bike. 50 km more once I was in Cambodia because there wasn't a hotel in the first few towns. $5 got me a pretty nice room with a shower, big bed and a balcony view of the street market down below. I ate about $4 worth of noodle soup and bbq things on sticks.

Brick factory.

Looking west on the Cambodia side of the border.

Somewhere in this rice field there is a border between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Night market.

Jan 26 Takeo to Phnom Penh. 72 km
It was a quick 72 km to Phnom Penh but it was all my ass could take. I was ready to be done with that scooter when I got there. I thought about running it into the river or starting it on fire as a sacrifice to the moto gods. But I couldn't. This bike had been "good" to me over the last 3000 km. It had taken a lot of abuse from me and kept going most of the time. When I say it had been "good" to me, I mean it had gotten me from Hanoi to Phnom Penh in just over a few weeks. Not bad for a $250 copy of a Honda Wave with countless trips up and down the Ho Chi Mihn Highway. I went to bed that night smiling knowing the next few weeks I would be free to wrench on the KTM in a shop to get her up to snuff for SEA.

The Sym 150 is the workhorse of Cambodia. I have seen these things pulling trailers a Ford truck would have problems with.

Breakfast time.

Noah 08 KTM 690 ADV. 125,000 km. 42 countries. 5 continents and counting.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:26 AM   #2875
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Man, something tells me I'd dig the food in Vietnam, I had no idea it
was that good! You gunna get FAT!
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:57 AM   #2876
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Location: Concord, CA
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Great update Noah. Safe travels.

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Old 02-20-2014, 01:57 PM   #2877
SS in Vzla.
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Banana Republic of Black Gold
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Somehow those pictures with the scooter in the background are not as sexy as the ones with the 690

Great update as always Noah.

Buen viaje!
SS. '98 BMW F650 / '06 WR250F / '07 KTM 990 Adv
Caracas, Venezuela
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:16 PM   #2878
Honkey Cat
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Always look forward to your report. Thanks.
My favorite philosopher is Cha Ching !
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:27 PM   #2879
nomad guy
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It's nice to see the rock is still there My pic is from 2006

04 KTM ADV 950S GO!!!!!
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:58 PM   #2880
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Originally Posted by nomad guy View Post
It's nice to see the rock is still there My pic is from 2006
Funny you recognized that rock Guy... Nice. Never knew you were over there.


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